Step One to Becoming an Internet Reseller: Choosing the Right Product

Article Written by Guest Blogger, Start Up Princess Erika Wilde www.StopDirt.com
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Many people want to start an internet-based business. The big question for many is what to sell. This article offers tips to finding and identifying products that will make you money.

Help, I Don’t Have a Product! Finding a Product to Sell

1. Who Do You Know?: Assuming you do not plan to make a product yourself, you should first look at your personal connections. Who do you know who produces or manufacturers a product? Friends, relatives, connections, friends-of-friends? Does anyone you know have a wholesale account with a manufacturer? Do you have access to any products at wholesale price?

2. Find the Source: If your personal connections don’t pan out, search the Internet for products that interest you. Look at products that are an extension of personal interest, hobby or need. Dig for the manufacturer (many Internet stores will be re-sellers, not the manufacturer). Another good source for finding products to sell is niche magazines. (There is a magazine for EVERYTHING!) Look at ALL the ads – especially the little ones in the back. Often the ads will have contact information for potential resellers. Look for brand names. Then search online for those brand names to find the source of the product. Do not try to re-sell a re-seller’s product. It will kill your profit margin.

3. Approach the Source: Once you have found the source, contact the manufacturer about becoming a reseller or affiliate seller of their product. Be professional and courteous. Be prepared for paperwork and scrutiny. Any good manufacturer is going to check you out to make sure you are a good fit for their product. Remember, your first product will likely be the hardest to gain. Once your website is established with a few products, you can more easily add associated goods.

4. Internet Wholesalers: There are many sites online that allow you to purchase products at wholesale prices. Many will drop ship the products for you and offer auction tools to help you sell. Be Careful: If you can buy these products at wholesale, so can others. Also, some sites charge exorbitant membership fees or fail to drop ship the products, etc. If you choose to use an internet wholesaler, be sure to research it carefully. One local internet wholesaler with a good reputation: www.doba.com (based in Utah County). Check out dropship-review.com and http://wholesale-reviews.net for a more complete look.

Will My Widget Sell? Judging a Product’s Profitability.

1. How Many Potential Customers Do I Have? Use a search term tool such as http://inventory.overture.com (free) or www.wordtracker.com (subscription service with free trial) to determine how many people are searching for your product. Explore different search terms or names that people call your product, i.e.: Door mat, Entry mat, Walk-off mats, Floor mats, etc.

2. Who is Your Competition? Can you price your product comparably to your competition? Is there something that you can do better than your competition (ie: price, easier-to-use website, better guarantee, etc)?

3. What Are My Margins? Make sure your product will pay you a good profit margin. Remember that a portion of your profits will be gobbled up every time you process a credit card, sell on an auction site, etc. Steer clear of almost any product that offers less than a 20% profit margin.

4. Can Your Product Be “Experienced” Online? While virtually everything can be sold online, look for a product that can “sell itself” with little human interaction. Ideally, you’ll want photographs and text description alone to sell your product. Products that require additional phone interaction, samples that have to be mailed, price quoting, etc., will not be as profitable.

Myths about Choosing a Product to Sell Online

Myth #1: You Have to Sell What you Know
While it would be helpful to have some background in the product that you choose to sell, you can learn anything. Most manufacturers offer sales support, samples, FAQ’s, to help you learn about your product before offering it to customers.

Myth #2: You Have to Sell Lots of Products on your Website
This simply is not true. You can run a successful website selling only one product. A great example is www.jaropener.com which is run by a BYU student. This profitable business sells only one product: a jar opener.

Myth #3: Too Many Competitors
As long as you can offer something that your competitors don’t offer, it doesn’t matter how many other people are selling your product. Price, credibility, site usability, warrantees, and customer service can set you apart from your competition.

Myth #4: You Need Passion for your Product
If people only sold items that they felt some personal passion for, who would sell toilet cleaners and door mats? Your passion can be your business, not the glamour (or lack thereof) of your product.

Thank you, Erika for sharing these excellent tips. For more about Erika’s advice for women entrepreneurs, visit her profile page on this site.

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  1. Very helpful information, thanks for posting it. I was surprised about Myth #3: Too many competitors. I would think that too much competition would definately hamper sales, especially if there are tons of sites selling it. But I guess it depends on the demand for the product???

    I was going to put an online store on my site, but decided I didn’t want to detract from direct donations to programs for the orphans. Am I doing the right thing?

  2. I would still consider an online store, I think it is a great idea. Sponsors can choose to buy a product and or make a donation. Don’t other organizations do this?

  3. Deborah, also affiliate programs would be good to add?! 🙂

  4. Yes, I am interested in the affiliate programs, just need to research and explore the options. I am really becoming interested in setting up my own online journal and blog, where I can express my feelings, successes, goals etc. about the orphans and the programs we are running for them. There are so many exciting things happening with the orphans and in the orphanages we are helping, and if I journaled about them online, they would be inspiring for others to read about–perhaps even motivating others to get involved with humanitarian work. How can you read about the life of an orphan and not feel like something inside you has changed forever? Several weeks ago, for instance, we helped save the lives of three orphan children suffering with hydrocephalus, one of them a 3 month old baby. This week, we are helping three more orphans to have the same life-saving surgery. Unfortunately, we were too late for 6 babies who died last month in just one orphanage. And I get to learn about all the personal details about each child. It is one thing to suppliment food for these children, and quite another to be a part of actually saving their lives. Let all the glory go to God…he continues to make it all possible!

    I am glad that this website helps people like me learn how to market their organization or business better. Thanks!

  5. Hi.

    What a great article!

    Do I have permission to re-publish this article on my website(s) blog section to spread the word out?

  6. Very informative article here! Erika definitely goes thru a lot of the key points for selling other people’s products in affiliate marketing. I make half my income from selling other people’s products and it’s great to read other people’s thoughts to continue to get ahead. I liked her Myth #3 “Too Many Competitors” and agree that can be a myth as a lot of people will step out of a market because they feel there is too much competition, however competition is generally good, and it keeps you on your toes. I found that if you can set yourself aside from your competition, people will notice that and begin to gravitate towards you. Anyways, great stuff! 🙂

  7. Erika, shame on you for spamming a shady company doba.com!
    Doba is a scam dropship company like Shopster.

    You wrote, “one local internet wholesaler with a good reputation: http://www.doba.com (based in Utah County). Check out dropship-review.com and http://wholesale-reviews.net for a more complete look.”

    Doba.com owns dropship-review.com and other review sites. You can google it for proof. Doba creates fake reviews to promote their site. Please do not fall for their scam!!! Any dropship company that charges you a monthly fee on top of their high product prices is ripping you off. Avoid Doba as well as Shopster!

  8. Charging a monthly fee on top of their product prices does not make Doba a shady company — it’s just a business like any other, trying to make money.

    However, that is really interesting to note that Doba owns Drop-Ship Review. Good to know. That’s one more lesson to me and all the readers to be careful in selecting drop ship suppliers.

  9. I have also had problems with DOBA, i run several droship sites and have used them before, I think it is best to find a specialized droshipper.

  10. The easiest way to find real dropshippers and avoid scams is to use professional services to help you with your business. I’ve been using Wholesale Match to help me find dropshippers and I haven’t had another problem with scamming companies, ever. I recommend that anyone who wants to find real dropshippers takes my advice and enlists the help of professionals.

  11. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

  12. Great information! I have looked high and low to find out how to become a reseller. Thank you!

  13. rigsbymark

    thank-you for this info,keep up the good-work.

  14. I don’t like the sound of all those lists he’s making – it’s like fetching too multitudinous notes at seminary; you experience you’ve achieved something when you haven’t.

  15. Sign: wdpad Hello!!! ceuww and 7153tgbzsxqkub and 926 : I will try to recommend this post to my friends and family, cuz its really helpful.

  16. Nice post, I am currently looking for other then “ebook” products to sell (or resell) online but having a hard time. I look forward to further options on this blog.

  17. Jan Pavel

    Hi:

    Let me first thank you for the article. It is very helpful.

    I am planning to open an online store with women’s underwear in the Czech Republic. I want to import generally American brands.

    I wonder if you would know whether it is in fact legal to resell brands such as Victoria Secret.

    Thank you very much in advance for your response.

    With best regards,

    Jan

  18. ddavis

    to those that are considering this aspect of an on-line business
    keep in mind that any companies such as doba that does not ask you for your master business license number and tax number means that you are not actually buying your products
    at the true wholesale price, i have looked into doba myself and other similar companies, they are the middle man who charges a markup.same as amazon, i know because i have signed up with samsung,microsoft and a few other companies,
    and beleive i can get same product direct from the manufacturer at much lower prices than offered by doba,amazon etc

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